Generation Z: what does the future hold?

With technology changing at an ever-increasing rate, life is moving faster than ever – and no-one is better equipped to deal with it than the so-called Generation Z.

5 Mar 2015

by Benita Evbenata

The first true internet generation

As the first true generation to grow up with the internet, Generation Z is defined as those typically born from early 1995 to 2001. This generation is the first to be completely submerged in the internet and have never known a time without it. They are very tech savvy – and are likely to have never picked up an encyclopedia.

It’s important that marketers take note of this generation as it will inevitably lead and shape patterns in purchasing products, services and interactions online. Business and media will have to listen to the needs of this generation and potentially mould themselves accordingly.

“This generation is growing up fast and the length of “innocence” is steadily decreasing with the knowledge accessible at its fingertips.”

This generation is growing up fast and the length of “innocence” is steadily decreasing with the knowledge accessible at its fingertips. Having grown up amid major innovation and social change, Zs are inquisitive and globally aware. They understand news as it happens and the myriad ways of transmitting and communicating it.

These budding entrepreneurs, professionals and decision makers are likely to lead companies and conduct business in a different way from their parents or even Generation Y (the young adults, aged 21-35ish that came before them).

According to Mashable 

  • 52% use YouTube and social media for research assignments
  • 33% watch lessons online
  • 20% read textbooks on tablets
  • 32% work with classmates online

How can Generation Z help shape the future

Research by agency Sparks & Honey found that Generation Z makes up the largest population demographic and as Generation Z’s influence inevitably grows, marketers will be forced to adapt to engage this audience in new ways. For instance, those who are 19 and younger prefer social networks like Snapchat, Secret and Whisper, as, according to the research, a quarter of 13- to 17-year-olds have left Facebook since 2011.

Marketers who are innovative and forward thinking are adapting already by increased usage of social media, learning apps and online shopping capabilities. For example, last year Paramount Pictures used secret-sharing site Whisper to promote its film Men, Women and Children.

“As we watch our younger family and friends play with their tablets, its clear to see they are more savvy and adaptable to technology than we ever were.”

As we watch our younger family and friends play with their tablets, its clear to see they are more savvy and adaptable to technology than we ever were. It will be important for businesses to expand their methodologies. They will need to continue to respond to the different behaviour and speed of information that the next generation is exposed to.

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